The Princess Tails

The Musings of Zena, a Tibetan Terrier sharing her life and wisdom with Raffles, a Standard Poodle


Christmas Thoughts

Hello all,

It has been many months since my last communication and it has been a sad time. With the death of team leader the fun has gone out of the family a little and I haven’t felt like posting. Losing a parent is huge so I’ve cut Mum a lot of slack as she comes to term with her father not being there any more.

Things have been changing everywhere and it has been hard to keep up with it all.

At this time as we remember happier Christmas’ in the past I just wanted to send a Happy Christmas to everyone out there.

Zena Happy Christmas


So – okay, I’ve blown that because now it’s Boxing Day here in OZ!

Nevertheless I will show you our Christmas outfits, maybe they’ll come in handy next year.

Raffy delivering gifts

With the death of Prissy Paws a new dog has entered our pack. He is called Jazz and as you can see is a Raffy mini-me. As if one poodle wasn’t enough I now have to cope with a giant 40kg one and a small 5 kg one. He is a toy poodle but I don’t want to play with him so he’s really Raffy’s toy.



Some things never change and one of them is Raff. He hasn’t got braver, and I don’t think he’s got any bigger (thank goodness). Jazz may not reach is knee caps but he chases him around the garden and the only time I see him look worried is when Raffy gets excited. When Raff gets excited he tends to lose control of his legs and his brakes still haven’t improved.

Jazz’s favourite game is to hide under one of the garden chairs and wait until Raff walks unsuspecting and innocent up the garden. When he gets within metres of the chair a barking fury runs out and Raffy is off down the garden with a tiny cream fluff ball nipping at his heels. Needless to say they both love it and when they are not chasing each other, playing tug or hiding balls under MY bed, they are kissing and licking. Ugh. Get a room.

Raff and mini-me Jazz

Raff and mini-me Jazz

For some reason although Raff loves Jazz and plays with him way more than he plays with me (because I don’t indulge him), he doesn’t really like him sleeping in the same bed, maybe he’s afraid he’ll roll over and squash him, not an impossibility.

So Jazz likes to share my bed. I’m and easy-going Tibby so I let him squeeze into a corner of mine but I do think it’s a bit of a liberty. However, I was well brought up and taught to share so I do. Most of the time however I spend the day pretending neither of them exist as seen below.

All I want for Christmas is peace never mind good will.

All I want for Christmas is peace never mind good will.

I did get a bit annoyed one day shortly after Jazz entered our family. He and Raffy were playing tug. Tug! I ask you. 40 kilos of poodle against a cotton wool ball. The outcome is inevitable isn’t it? Every time I play tug with Raff, unless Mum joins in, one pull from him and I’m in the next room and Raff is strutting down the garden with the toy. Not so with Jazz. He could send him into the next village with a toss of his head but no….. when he plays tug with Jazz he stands there holding the toy and lets Jazz jump around between his front legs pulling and tugging until his energy runs out and then he LETS him have the toy! Is that fair? Mum even has it on film as they coo over how sweet Raff is to Jazz. How about being sweet to the one he lives with – ME. That would go down a little better in this quarter I can tell you.

This season we also have Tuppy staying with us. Poor Tuppy. She is used to a quiet life as an only dog and all of a sudden she has to cope with us. I am no trouble as you can imagine but Jazz is the little-poodle-who-never-sleeps. If he isn’t setting her off by barking at a shadow that passes the house he is jumping over us trying to get someone to play with him. Tuppy and I are dignified ladies of eight years old so we just put our heads down, screw our eyes tightly shut and ignore him.

The new improved svelte Tuppy

The new improved svelte Tuppy

Tuppy has lost a lot of weight since she’s been looked after by Number One Son. She is can actually run now. Her belly no longer scrapes the ground and she doesn’t limp. She could make a fortune with ‘Weight Watchers’ if she’d only followed one of their diets. She should be a celebrity but there is only room for one in the family and that’s me. However (some of you may relate – Mum does) although the body is thinner the mind is still focused and that focus is food. She lives for her meals and the one consolation of being away from Number One Son and his family is that we get way more treats 🙂

Tuppy waiting for the next meal

Tuppy waiting for the next meal

Christmas Day we went to the park and played with our pals whilst our people chatted, drank bubbly and ate cheese and strawberries. Each to his own. BUT Mum had made these fantastic cookies with peanut butter and bacon for us dogs so everyone at the park got a taster and everyone got to take a few home with them as a present.

Peanut Butter and Bacon Poodle Cookies

Peanut Butter and Bacon Poodle Cookies

We still have some left and we all love them so I shall be ordering requesting that she make those again. These however were in poodle shapes. I bet she couldn’t find a Tibetan Terrier shaped cookie cutter or she would have made them all TT’s. That will be another order request, that she find a Tibetan Terrier cookie cutter or maybe cut them by freehand what do you think?

We have a new pack at the park too. With Rosie gone we now have Lola (always want to sing when I say that name for some reason).

Lola 10 months

Lola 10 months

The gang Christmas day

The gang Christmas day – Geordie, a beautiful apricot standard poodle just walking off left, Raffy centre back  dirty and dusty from a roll in the dust, Cassie wearing fetching tinsel in the centre, Lola on the right, me in the foreground and some random strange miniature black poodle who I don’t know!

If I begin writing again I’ll tell you more about her and our other park pals later.

For now I just want to hope that you all had a good Christmas and that 2015 is a brighter year.

Remembering happier Christmas' and of absent friends

Remembering happier Christmas’ and of absent friends

Cheers from Zena, still a Princess


Wreck It Raff

I am trying to be an understanding princess.

I understand that The Help has two parents she gives a lot of time to.

I understand that The Boss is still recovering from the eye surgery gone wrong and it has been almost five weeks since he could drive.

I understand that he is fed up but at least he does seem to be recovering now.

I understand that The Help had a morning in the hospital having a procedure she won’t talk about and she has lots of appointments for herself, The Boss and her parents.

I understand that we have been lucky not to have missed a morning in the park or my cuddles in the evening despite all of this.

However, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND how they could leave me so often alone with ‘Wreck it Raff’ and think it’s okay!

The Evidence

I Know What You Did Last Summer

I Know What You Did Last Summer


Visiting Hours

The Horror Show

The Horror Show



Child's Play

Child’s Play

Friday 13th

Friday 13th

See No Evil

See No Evil

Cry Wolf

Cry Wolf

He Knows You're Alone!

He Knows You’re Alone!

I understand we are being left a little more than usual …….. but…… H E L P !!!!

With love from Zena, the (safe) and understanding Princess


The Pressed Princess

Hello all,

This is really just a catch-up to say sorry we haven’t been around to visit and comment on your blogs and may not be for a few days.

Monday started so well with my receiving my prize from Animal Couriers for being able to match up the names with their travellers (who said I don’t have a brain!). Along with some cards and a wonderful key ring which The Help has pinched, there was also a great fridge magnet.


The Help is looking for ways to attach it to the outside of the house! And no, it doesn’t mean I’m mad (though maybe I could persuade people that The Pup had a screw lose?), but it would certainly made people talk about us which I like 🙂 I rather like being thought moody and interesting enough to deserve a French label. Anyone who is anyone should have a French label!

I think I’ll have another one made which reads ‘Chien célèbre’ 😀

So that began Monday well, thank you Animal Couriers.

Then Miss Harper Lee nominated me for the Sunshine Award. I do already have this award but was really touched to be thought of again and if you haven’t met Harper Lee you should pop over to her blog. The picture of her as a pup sitting in a basket made my tail wag it is sooooo cute.

Suddenly, Monday went wrong.

The Help took The Boss to have a check up on his eye and the next thing you know we are off to stay with Devon at the Team leader’s house and they are rushing into Melbourne for emergency surgery on a detached retina 😦

They are now back and The Boss is back to the beginning trying to recover with a sore eye.

We coped because we know Team leader well and in fact I had a very comfortable night. The spare bedroom at Team Leader’s house is a very nice room with satin and sequin covers. It looks very pretty and just right for a Princess. So, without Team leader realising it until the morning, I spent the night on the satin, sequinned spare bed and The Pup slept on the floor! I just wish The Help would provide a bed as civilised for me at home!

It was however a sad night for another reason too. You have heard me talk about Prissy Paws? What is a blog without someone to tease and what are stories without a villain? Well, he will be cast as the villain no more. He went to visit the vet on Monday and they discovered that he is the end stage of heart failure. Team Leader is very sad and so are we. We are hoping that his little heart will keep on going for longer than the vet thinks and that he will be here to snarl at us for months to come.

So Monday was a very mixed day and all of this is why we are very behind with things and might be a bit behind for a week or two.

All of you take care and keep on having fun and normal communications will resume as soon as possible.

The carpet? You seriously expect me to sleep on the carpet? Where are my satin sheets? Where are my sequins? Pffft

The carpet? You seriously expect me to sleep on the carpet? Where are my satin sheets? Where are my sequins? Pffft!

Love from, Zena, Le Chien célèbre,

Raffles, Le Chien Lunatique

and The Help


The Princess Comes Clean

No. This is not about the state of my coat.

This is an update on the pup.

As most of you know, the whole purpose of getting a BIG pup was for me to have a bodyguard. How is it going you ask? Not quite according to plan I say!

For all his size he is a very gentle guy.

For once I got to the sofa first and he has to squish up on one side :-) See how big he is?

For once I got to the sofa first and he has to squish up on one side 🙂 See how big he is?

Miss Eight was here last week and he ran around with her and never once in the two days of play did he knock her over or hurt her and yet he can be such a klutz!

He causes endless amusement with the others at the dog park because he always seems just a few beats behind the other dogs. He is still playing chase when they have switched to hide and seek and then they have broken out from the trees and he’s still waiting on the other side! He is the kid who is counting to a hundred playing hide and seek and all the others have gone off to watch tv without telling him 🙂

Decisions, decisions. To play chase with Diesel, puppy school pal and German Shepherd, or chew the stick with Rosie and Cassie? BTW if you look closely just where Diesel's head should be that's me playing with him.

Decisions, decisions. To play chase with Diesel, puppy school pal and German Shepherd, or chew the stick with Rosie and Cassie? BTW if you look closely just where Diesel’s head should be that’s me playing with him.

It makes me laugh too and I would love to have Zac at my side to have a chuckle, but of course if I’d had Zac, Raffles wouldn’t be here. Ah well, I’ll chuckle anyway!

I do wonder if he will ever assert himself. Last week a huge black lab decided he rather fancied Raffy and Raffles who is bigger and heavier just stood there. It didn’t occur to him to be nasty or even to shake him off. Sometimes his good nature goes a little too far!

I guess that is the problem with being the baby of the group. None of the other dogs really take you very seriously and you are always trying to catch up and talking about catching up you should see him run! Don’t get me wrong, he can go quite fast, but he needs about half the dog park to work up the speed and then there is the moment when the other poodles, who are all a little smaller and lighter on their feet, decide to turn. He has done some spectacular face-plants! He just does not have the grace of the others. We’re not sure if that will come or if he’s just too big a specimen to be graceful with it.

I don’t care that he can’t turn on a sixpence, I just need him to turn on any potential threats to ME. That is looking less and less likely. In new situations he usually looks to me to make him feel safe.

I do admit to feeling more secure when he is around than when I was as an only. And I do occasionally see glimpses of potential, like when he tore apart some hapless toy which was unrecognisable by the time he’d finished and he did manage to look really nasty once – see what you think.

This looks fairly fierce right? You'd never know he was just catching bubbles!

This looks fairly fierce right? You’d never know he was just catching bubbles!

As you may know I haven’t always behaved very well in the car and  The Help hates to take me out in it. I’ll just remind you of the piece I wrote about my howling and turning on the hazard lights when left for five minutes in the supermarket car park. If you’ve forgotten just go to The Impenitent Princess to read all about it. I used to wind Zac up too so the both of us would whine and complain. For this reason The Help and The Boss have taken The Pup out in the car by himself. Because I’m a bad influence – moi????

You can imagine how surprised I was when instead of going out for our usual walk last week we were loaded in the car. I immediately began whining and making a fuss but Raffles just sat there looking down his nose at me with such a solid calm expression that all of a sudden I didn’t feel quite so nervous. In fact, I felt rather silly so I sat down and shut up.

We had a peaceful journey The Help was amazed and pleased. I’m not promising that I’ll be so good every time but perhaps whining and jumping around and getting a large standard poodle puppy excited in a confined space is not good for my health!

So although the jury is still out on whether he is actually ever going to protect me, one thing no-one can argue with is that he’s a good natured hulk and I even permit him to play with me from time to time although it usually ends up with me being a very soggy princess! For all his huge size and weight he hasn’t hurt me so that has to be in his favour.

I have decided that I will have to spend some time training the guy. I’ll let you know how the lessons work out.

NEWSFLASH                       EMERGENCY                  HELP!

I began this post several days ago.

Today the dreaded event happened, the unthinkable. I was tortured and did Raffles help, well sort of. He licked me whilst I endured………… A BATH

The torture chamber

The torture chamber

Suffering for the sake of cleanliness.

Suffering for the sake of cleanliness.

Yet more implements of torture

Yet more implements of torture

Hiding out in my bed in case The Help decides I'm not dry enough!

Hiding out in my bed in case The Help decides I’m not dry enough!

So now I really have come clean, externally and internally! I should feel better right? Confession is a sort of therapy. Admitting the pup is a useless bodyguard should be cathartic? So why don’t I feel better?

Oh, I know (sarcastic tone).

It’s because I’m still slightly damp and The Help is going to want to brush my tail soon. That’s why!

Have a good day everyone, back soon with the promised furballs of the past. The Help is trying to find a photo which she can publish.

love from Zena, the sparkling Princess.


The Emotional Princess

It has been a busy, busy week. The Help has been busy and Blogville has been busy.

First of all on the ground here The Help has been driving The Boss around as he recovers from the eye surgery.

Apparently all has not gone as smoothly as it could and there is a little haemorrhage into the eye. Nothing serious the doctor says but it slows down progress.

I do not have a strong stomach for the queasy stuff so when they start talking about it I do this:

Stop! I feel sick....

Stop! I feel sick….

Or this:


I’ll be glad for him when it’s all better.

As well as being busy at home Blogville has been a very busy place.

You may have heard that Misaki from The Misadventures of Misaki, a very attractive Alaskan Malamute, held a competition to find the first Patron Saint of Blogville.

There were thousands of entrants, well hundreds, well – a lot. I sent in a picture of the boy slaying a monster in the garden.


You can see here his commitment to learning how to be the best bodyguard he can be.

He didn’t win.

Perhaps I should have sent a picture of him slaying naughty monkey.


I haven’t told him he didn’t win partly because I didn’t tell him he was entered! He will improve at these things, we knew he was an outsider and still has a lot to learn.

There was however a very deserving and favoured winner. One who will fit the role so well and has already begun her ‘rule’ of Saint in a magnificently saintly way.

This is of course Mollie from Mollie’s Dog Treats.

Saint Mollie

Saint Mollie

Aren’t those eyes compelling?

And there was an equally moving runner up with Doggy from Doggy’s Style.

Saint Doggy

Saint Doggy

Fortunately Doggy had had a haircut for the day so his lovely eyes were on show to wring the hearts of all voters.

I was delighted with the results. We’ve talked about Mollie a lot and she spreads a lot of fun and goodness around Blogville and to prove it she passed on her prize to me!! (Well, maybe Raffles). How noble is that?

I was humbled and teary by the beautiful things that she said about me and it only goes to show how right it was that she won in the first place!

She is such a wise and discerning Mollie 😉 She made me feel a real star.

So a huge thank you to Mollie and I am so pleased that Doggy got runner up too.

It was great to see everyone’s contribution but sobering to see how dangerous Petville is out there. Apart from Raffles fighting his monster, we had Austin fighting a pom-pom, Shiner battling a stuffie, Easy scrapping with a Stegosaurus (hedgehog),  Molly wrestling a Wenlock, Rumpy and Casey clashed with a dinosaur, and many other monsters the most scary of which seems to have been the killer carrot that Cress tangled with.

I had no idea that my toybox was so dangerous. It’s a good thing I have Raffy the Slayer for protection.

So once again thank you to my Blogville pals. Thank you for dreaming up fun things to take part in which helps to leaven the seriousness of reality and thank you for the generous spirit of friendship, encouragement and caring which I continue to receive.

And there are still many competitions out there to have fun with. Raffles and I are part of two coming up:

Sammy from One Spoiled Cat’s 2nd Blogosphere Anniversary Slumber Party May 10th


Hutchagoodlife is having a Blogoversary party with wild party pictures, The Help may well be shocked 😉

Keep an eye out for these fun events and I’m sure there are many more.

Have a wonderful day

Thinking about my great Blogville pals in the Australian autumn morning

Thinking about my great Blogville pals in the Australian autumn morning

Love from, Zena the humbled Princess.


The Panicked Princess

There is a saying ‘You snooze, you lose’.

I’m beginning to think that the world of awards is rather like that.

A few days ago lovely Little Binky from Angelswhisper were kind enough to think of me for the new WordPress Family Award. I was chuffed. It’s a lovely award with a beautiful sentiment behind it so thank you so much for thinking of me Little Binky.

I posted my Park Day post for Gizmo and then before I could turn around my lovely guinea pig pals (I’m sure Basil was behind it), over at Hutchagoodlife had given me the award too!


Isn’t it a great award?

Quoted from the Rules:  “This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award”

The rules are as follows:

1. Display the award logo on your blog. (tick)

2. Link back to the person who nominated you. (tick,tick)

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family (tick)

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them (soon to be tick)

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love.

Now you will understand the snoozing and losing aspect of awards. I have noticed that most of my WordPress pals have been given this award in the 24 hours it has taken me to get The Help to the computer.

I had decided that I was therefore going to throw the award open to anyone who hasn’t yet received it and then (as is a female’s prerogative), I changed my mind. I know that some of you have probably already received this award but I want to thank you for supporting me and entering into the ‘spirit’ of the fun of this blog and for sharing your lives and humour with us. In no particular order but with sincere thanks:

1. Our Furever Family who at this time are going through a very tough time and one that all of us can understand and sympathise with.

2. Cat From Hell. Nellie you’re always fun and full of wise advice too.

3. One Spoiled Cat. Sammy, I’m still enjoying the camping competition and looking forward to the pyjama party!

4. Jasper’s Doggy World. My pals over the pond.

5. Long Life Cats and Dogs. We really pulled together to try and get pixels over the line and we almost did it. It was truly a family affair!

6. Clowie’s Corner. One of my first and most loyal supporters who followed Zac before keeping step with me.

7. Easy. No award list would skip Easy and I’m sure he’s already been given the award over and over, but I wouldn’t leave him out.

Now one of my other most faithful and greatest supporters are not WordPress but (horror) using other blog publication applications so I’m not sure if it is entirely in the rules to pass the award on to them but I don’t care!

8. Mollie. Mollie and Alfie are the greatest fun and the most faithful friends and now have a most exciting shop too. I will not leave them off my list!

There are many more of you. In fact most of you who follow me probably deserve this award! In which case, please feel free to take the last two places on my list and help yourself to this award 😀

I do too have eyes!

I do too have eyes!

Love from Zena, the family Princess 🙂


Park Day Princess


Gizmo over at Terrier Torrent has declared 26 April Park Day. So I thought I’d join in.

Gizmo does something calls geo-caching which sounds fun, complicated and like you might need to walk through mud or water so I don’t do that.

I do however go to the park every day. Most of you have seen my park. We have a few places around us where we can go but we love going where we meet up with our pals to play.

Here’s some of my Park Day contributions, I hope you don’t find them too tame after Gizmo’s adventures!

My park has the best smells

My park has the best smells

My park has great space to run free

My park has great spaces to run free

And there's sometimes good places to hide.

And there’s sometimes good places to hide.

At my park I keep the score!

At my park I keep the score!

At our park we meet our pals.

At our park we meet our pals.

At my park all shapes and sizes are welcome

At my park all shapes and sizes are welcome

At my park we can all join in

At my park we get cuddles too

At my park sometimes I join in the fun.

At my park  I join in the fun.

Sometimes I stand and watch

Sometimes I stand and watch

Sometimes I sit and watch

Sometimes I sit and think (really, I do)

Sometimes I find a good stick to chew

Sometimes I find a good stick to chew

At my park we always have fun and I get lots of exercise

At my park we always have fun and I get lots of exercise

And after our daily play at the park we always do this!

And after our daily play at the park we always do this!

This is my real-life park. I am not an intrepid explorer like Gizmo.

I have the beach nearby but I don’t like getting my paws wet.

I am a social butterfly. I enjoy going to my local and meeting up with the pals for a run. I am motivated by the group.

So this is my Park Day contribution.

Have fun from Zena, the stay-at-home Princess


The Activist Princess

What an exciting week!

The Help thought it was going to be a quiet week……..wrong!

She thought she’d be able to get a post out before today……wrong!

She thought I’d let her have Sunday off ……… wrong!

If I tell you that the last quiet moment we had was when Miss Eight came to visit you might realise the sort of week we’ve had!

But first. I must catch you up on my campaign success. Yes. Really.

Most of you will no doubt be aware that for the last few weeks there has been a gigantic struggle going on. This struggle was brought to our attention by Wallace and Samuel in The Chronicles of Wallace and Samuel blog.

These two noble dogs sought our support after their dad decided they were not allowed on the couch. Dogdom everywhere rushed to the rescue.

Support was overwhelming. We noble animals rose to the battle cry and sat/lay and slept on our couches all around the world in an attempt to sweep away the unjust discrimination under which Wallace and Samuel were living.

Raffles and I entered the fray. I became political! Here is an excerpt from the speech which I gave to the dogs at the park to rally support for this needy cause

“I say to my furry friends as I said to Raffles, I have nothing to offer but fluff, cuteness and my charm. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in Australia. We shall fight in the UK. We shall fight with growing strength all over the world. We shall fight in the bedrooms. We shall fight in the lounges. We shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, we should fail then our fluffy forces would carry on the struggle until our power and might overcomes and brings forth rescue and liberation’.

And so the battle began.

We battled in the kitchen

We battled in the kitchen

I campaigned in the lounge

I campaigned in the lounge

The big boy made his bid for equality. (face blurred to protect the innocent)

The big boy made his bid for equality.
(face blurred to protect the innocent)

Determined to stand by our furry brothers in their time of crisis we left no opportunity for support be wasted. At every chance we were on those couches. Sacrifice was paramount in our minds as we clambered up and down, up and down.

Exhausted and scarred from the battle we finally got the news.


Wallace and Samuel won the right to go onto the couch (with some conditions attached it’s true but Rome wasn’t built in a day).

At last. The gigantic struggle was over and we could take a well earned break from the campaign.

Exhausted but triumphant. We sleep the sleep of conquerors.

Exhausted but triumphant. We sleep the sleep of conquerors.

And not only did we get the satisfaction of having thrown our fur behind a really great cause but we won a great badge too 🙂

Our award

Our award

We would have posted our success immediately but The Help had to drive The Boss  into Melbourne for an eye operation (yuck).

They had to stay overnight and this meant that the behemoth and I got to stay with Prissy Paws (yuck!).

Fortunately Prissy Paws lives with Team leader and Team Leaderess who likes to give us cuddles and treats so that is definitely a good thing.

I enjoyed staying with them for a short time. I had three beds to choose from so I made sure that I occupied each of them through the day. This meant that my smell was everywhere which made me feel at home and also the pup was never quite sure where I was so it was harder for him to find me 🙂

As it happens he was very busy exploring the new garden and entrancing Team Leader so I had a great holiday.

Now we are back together with The Help and the Boss and the Boss has a very sore and funny looking eye.

He can’t see properly and says it is like looking through a bowl half full of murky water which sloshes around when you move. Yuck!

In order to have his eye heal properly he has to assume one of my favourite positions. I thought he was mocking me at first but when I realised that it was doctors orders I decided to support him and join in.

Adopting the head down position (on the couch) in order to support The Boss who has to do this through the day.

Adopting the head down position (on the couch) in order to support The Boss who has to do this through the day.

Having published my success as an campaigner I am going to let The Help rest now and normal posting should resume shortly. We are still preparing photos of past furpals but as it was BD (before digital) they are not great!

Just before I go I’ll share a little something from Miss Eight’s visit.

Rosewater and Lemon cupcakes decorated by Miss Eight.

Rosewater and Lemon cupcakes decorated by Miss Eight.

See those. Cupcakes. Lot’s of cupcakes. Did we get any? No.

Reason for an uprising…….. quite possibly. What do you think?

I think I’ll just go and join The Boss doing the head flop whilst I work out the logistics.

For now, have  a Happy Sunday everyone.

Love from Zena, the smug Princess


Princess Perfect

So. Here I am minding my own business when I started thinking.

I know!

Me? Thinking.

Zac would have had some sarcastic remarks to make around about now. He was always the thinker, the wise one, the watcher of the world and television. As you know I was the ditzy one. The perennial puppy. The carefree, play-all-the-time Princess. Thinking was Zac’s department, living life to the fun was mine.

Since Zac left us that has been changing. And this morning I woke with thoughts buzzing around in my head.

And I found that when I started I couldn’t stop.

A good thinking position for me and one I choose often.

A good thinking position for me and one I choose often.

Why now I wondered? My hair is growing longer so maybe it’s a little like that Sampson guy from the bible that I’ve heard mentioned. You know. The guy who lost his strength with his hair cut off. Maybe I need long hair to think?

See - the hair is definitely growing.

See – the hair is definitely growing.

Or perhaps it’s just watching the youngsters in the park. I’m six now and the oldest of the Poodle Pack. I have to face facts. I’m growing up. Maybe this is maturity?

Or perhaps it’s just that some of the things I’ve been through have changed me. They do say that don’t they? Whatever we go through in life can make us stronger if we let it. Choose whether you become better or bitter.

I don’t wish to sound like a broken record but I am realising that this began when Zac died. Up until that point I was happy, safe and I didn’t think anything bad could happen.

We escaped from the garden once and ran through the streets having a ball. When The Help found us she was so relieved and I heard her saying we could have been killed but to us it was a great adventure. Nothing bad could happen to us. Could it?

Then of course it did. Zac crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and I was alone.

I took to the new bed The Help bought for me and rarely left it.

I slept all day.

I went out for a walk but stayed close to The Help’s legs and didn’t sniff or relate to the other dogs at all. I didn’t really see the park and I wasn’t interested in catching up with anyone.

I found that I couldn’t really respond when the family came to call. Even Miss Seven (now Miss Eight) couldn’t get me to leave my bed.

All my toys stayed neatly in their basket in the corner of the room.

Just going out into the garden was a huge effort for me. I didn’t want to do anything.

My head was just filled with fear, confusion and negativity.

I was still eating but I wasn’t really tasting. It was mechanical. I guess I still had that instinct to survive even though I had no joy in that survival. I was going through the motions.

I didn’t know it at the time but The Help did. I was depressed.

I had to go to the vet for my normal vaccinations and he offered some medicine. The Help and The Boss didn’t want to go that route.

It’s not that they’re against medication. They would have used it as a last resort but they were pretty sure they knew what I needed.

Anyway after those couple of occasions when I ate the pretty coloured stuff and went yellow (blush of embarrassment) my liver hasn’t been so good so they really didn’t want to give me anything if they didn’t have to.

Sometimes medication is needed but I wasn’t chewing myself or causing self-harm. I was just very, very sad. It wasn’t straight forward grieving either, it was depression.

I had had no experience of loss. I had been protected all my life. I’d left my puppy family and the same day I moved in with Zac and he loved me and protected me and spoiled me. He made sure I was never frightened.

Reality hit and I didn’t know how to cope. Hence the depression.

The Help and I would sit and chat about Zac and she would try and comfort me. They would take me everywhere with them as I would howl when they didn’t!

Depression is an awful thing. I had no control over it. It was a thick blanket that smothered me and I did not have the strength to get out.

Then The Help and The Boss came up with the idea of getting Raffles.

They decided that the best thing for me was for me to have another pal in the house not to replace Zac but another pal for me to form a relationship with. I was quite interested. A puppy. I like puppies. Puppies are little and cute and you can curl up with them – right?

Well you all know the story of MY puppy. He was nothing like that.

Cute? Huh!

Little? Definitely not.

Cuddle up with? Not unless I fancied losing a spleen from a crush injury!

But it did help that I wasn’t alone any more. And there was no way I could pretend that this was another Zac.

He may have looked like a minor mountain, but he acted all puppy which made it quite dangerous for a while there.

And this I believe, was the beginning of my becoming a little more aware. A little more responsible. I’m the mature one in the house. If the pup gets scared he comes to me!

Early days when we could both fit in my bed!

Early days when we could both fit in my bed!

Even though he has always been big and not my idea of a puppy, those first few weeks didn’t really prepare me for the present day giant that he has become.

My beautiful bed was briefly able to take the two of us.

And at the beginning when we went out for walks he would just follow where I went.

On his first trip to be groomed I had to go with him. Now he is gaining in confidence and it is great to see. I feel I have helped him to become who he is today.

There are times when I feel quite proud of how he is turning out.

He is becoming quite a handsome chap and a credit to my training.

He is becoming quite a handsome chap and a credit to my training.

I have tried to get him interested in television.

As you may remember Zac was a great one for television. He would watch anything. He loved the funniest videos, he’d bark at dogs and he hated horses. He’d growl at the bad guys with guns and he’d have to run and get big dog during the scary movies.

I’m not into television in the same way but I do still bark and run to the tv set whenever a dog comes on the screen. Even cartoon dogs. Raffles runs with me but because he has no idea what we’re doing he usually runs me over! He just doesn’t seem to see the screen.

This has made me wonder what else I should teach him.

I have told him a little of his Mum and Dad and where he comes from but I think I may teach him a little of the family history. There have been quite a few dogs in The Help’s past and it might be interesting to briefly talk about them. In a way, they helped to form her and therefore us.

Then of course there is the ongoing puppy training which The Boss is still doing with Raffles.

Every evening he takes Raffles into the garden for leash practice and to reinforce sitting and staying. I feel it is my duty to participate and give the kid support. So I go along too. But being a perfect Princess I don’t need the lead. When The Boss says sit I sit because I get a treat too 🙂 I think it helps the kid to know I can do all this stuff – when I want to of course.

Zac was very firm on the ‘come’ command. He told me early on that you only obey that one when you are sure there is something good being offered. Half the time, he told me, they just want to lock you in the house and go out or they want to have someone interesting over and for some reason you’re not going to get to meet them.

I haven’t been able to convey that to Raffles. He just seems to want to do the right thing. Sometimes I wonder what Zac would do and I reckon he’s probably laughing at me from his soft bed on the Rainbow Bridge. He’s probably enjoying the peace and quiet up there without me!

Getting Raffles helped. It took time but I am out of the depression. The experience has changed me though and I am only just realising how much. I choose not to be bitter. I will be better.

I like to think and plan my lessons in comfort :-D

I like to think and plan my lessons in comfort 😀

So I have been thinking. And I’m thinking that I need to pass some wisdom onto the pup.

This is new for me so I’m going to start slowly. I’m going to start by going backwards.

Yep. Zac is definitely laughing!

I’m going to go way, Way, WAY back in the past and tell you and the pup a little about the ones who have been before us and helped to train The Help! And this might shock you but there have been a few cats in there too. It doesn’t shock you? Well it shocked me!

I think we’ll start with Jason, the Irish Red Setter, coming to a blog near you very, very soon 🙂

Love from Zena, the Perfect Princess